Art & Education

World Wheel

WORLD WHEEL (Earth Mandala), is an artistic forum for global understanding consisting of monumental stone sculptures and ceremony performance events circling the globe.

The project focuses on spiritual ecological issues activating an awareness of the interrelatedness of all life. Through active participation with local artists, performers and community, World Wheel addresses the people’s deepest personal and social concerns, working creatively with them to resolve cultural conflicts. World Wheel provides a transformative experience for the community.

The first World Wheel took seven years straddling the 40th latitudinal parallel beginning in Malibu, California and continued on to the Seneca Reservation, New York–Alicante on the Mediterranean Sea of Spain–the Umbrian Forest of Italy–the island of Tinos in Greece–the desert of Egypt–the banks of the Dead Sea in Israel and Palestine–a tiny village in West Bengal, India–a cave in Shoto Terdrom, Tibet–a national park in Kunming, Western China–on the banks of Lake Baikal, Siberia. In October of 1993 the culmination of this journey was in Japan at the ancient Shinto shrine of Tenkawa.

The second World Wheel circles the equator forming a nine pointed star with its center as the center of the earth. The first sites are in the Andes and Amazon rainforest in Ecuador. The following sites are Brazil, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Australia, South Pacific ocean, Kiribati; culminating in California. Vijali has dedicated this Wheel of sites to the well being of the children of the world.

Vijali explains, “The motivation for the World Wheel came from an experience in the mid 70’s when my perception of ourselves and the world shifted, and the Unity of life stood revealed. The next few years were a search for a way to live within this web of life that connects all life. Specific ideas for the World Wheel came to me in a dream; I saw myself carving sculptures out of the living rock and involving people from many cultures in a process of ritual in a giant circle around the world. The circle itself represents Unity in the sense that each spoke of the wheel has a quality that is unique, distinct from every other spoke of the wheel and yet it is from these differences that harmony arises, from these differences that the whole is created.

As soon as I arrive in a country, I ask each person I meet, three questions:
1. What is our essence?
2. What is our sickness, our imbalance … personally, communally and globally?
3. What can heal this sickness, what can bring us into balance?

Their response from these questions form the art and ritual performance. Each earth sculpture serves as the performance space and is left as a gift and permanent installation to be used by the community, continuing to connect them to the concept of Unity of the World Wheel.

The world became my studio. I was a pilgrim who made offerings and gave voice and form to the spirit of the earth and the people I met along the way. I kept expanding the borders of what sculpture was, what art was, integrating it more and more into life itself–the people around me; their problems their hopes, their dreams of the future. I saw that at the root of these problems is the misunderstanding of ourselves as separate, isolated beings needing to exploit the earth and each other for our gain. This dualistic way of thinking is the direct cause of our ecological and social problems which is rapidly leading us toward global disaster.”

View Vijali’s personal history

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